Posts tagged “indie

JULY MIX.

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It’s round two. Back. Proper music writing. A nice collection of tunes this time around – chock to the brim and all that. Some thoughts and reflections on the tracks within the tape are below. Have a read and a listen would ya?

It feels as though songwriters are a hell of a lot better now at accessing a classic song structure and injecting it with enough personality and originality that it pops, so to speak. On this tape you can here it in the layers in L.U.V‘s track ‘You’ll Never Let Me Go’, the embrace of more traditional blues and soul instrumentation of ‘Down To Rest from Tom Stephens. And then of course you have the Waitsesque jaunt of Lost Animal‘s ‘Do The Jerk’ with its organ and sax combo. Dorsal Fins have always been on that classic pop tip – to the point where every single hit/strum/connection of brain to voice feels purposeful. My Brother’s Friends do the sing-a-long duet real well too, offering two perspectives on a track, simply via the differences in phrasing between the verses.

The cultural significance of movements like LISTEN and Sad Grrrls Club isn’t going unnoticed. Of course there’s forever to go, but the fact that female identifying and GNC artists are now visible is all sorts of good. What makes me (a white cis-dude) a little uncomfortable though is the fact that these artists easily compete (not that it’s at all a competition). It’s not the fact that these artists are themselves good, it’s the question of who the fuck are we to be only now realising that ‘hey music is cool and gee there are some bloody talented people out there’. What the hell were we (predominately white music guys) doing to only get this now. in 2016. Who the fuck are we to put structures in place (like casually sexually assaulting women/overly sexualising women/fetishising those artists that identify differently) that purposefully favour some artists over others? Artists like L.U.V. and Rachel Maria Cox and Julia Jacklin and Tracy Chen and Ninajirachi. All making these tightly wound tracks, some full of more intimacy than you can bear, some with these super tight guitar pop structures. All really really catchy and good (hence why they’re in this tape). We should all make considered and thoughtful choices about who we choose to support.

It’s something that’s been pushed a lot recently – we have a real super exciting electronic scene in this country. And yeah mate, we do. But the most exciting stuff to my ears (and hopefully yours) is happening away from the spotlight and away from the most hearted and reposted on soundcloud. We got a couple of those in here, from the warm and moving sonics of acts like LAIKS, Braille Face, and Ninajirachi; right through to the more pop sound of CDAD and Yon Yonson. I think special mention needs to be made of Tracy Chen‘s ‘Eggs’, which knocks me over into some tingly mess each and every time I press play on the thing. And it would be remiss of me not to make mention of Japanese Wallpaper, the exception to my most hearted and reposted rule.

And all the others in this here tape. This tape especially has felt quite a pleasure to post. If you just can’t wait to read more of me writing, then you may well want to sign up to the maamf mailout. Thanks to all those who have done so already. For those yet to, it’s a monthly mailout full with many of things I been reading and enjoying over the past month. You can sign up here. You can check out the past issues here.

Miks

 

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LOVE MIGRATE.

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Long term followers of this site will know that a couple of years ago I use to harbour a deep deep love for a band called Love Migrate. The band haven’t released anything since the Dissolved EP in late 2013, a release that felt a lot more assured and focussed than their debut album of 2012. That’s not to say that I didn’t love that debut though.

This new track ‘Pippa’s In The Highlands’ feels as though a band in its new form, harking back to its older sound. And the track is all the better for it. The sparseness is back, allowing the vulnerability in Eddie’s voice once again to shine through. And those builds are also there – that euphoria that sets in at a minute left makes it all worth the wait.

They’ve also retained that solid pop structure to their songs that seemed to develop on the Dissolved EP, all while keeping that classic Australian singer-songwriter vibe.

The track is taken off the bands new EP Shimmer Through The Night due out May 22. You can catch the band launch the EP at the Gasometer on May 28.

Miks


HEDGE FUND.

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Sometimes it doesn’t take much. The driving, aggressive, propulsion on offer in Hedge Fund‘s latest ‘Look Who’s Back’ gives everything in what feels like one sweet blow to the body.

The fact that length wise, this is within your usual pop song fair says something about what they pack in – I find myself always pressing play again straight after it’s finished.

If you’re around Sydney, you might have caught Hedge Fund play Rare Finds‘s new night over at the Sly Fox in Enmore. If you missed that one then make sure you check ’em out at Junkyard Fest on Saturday. Details here.

Miks


FLIP THE SCRIPT.

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Yeah mate, seems everyone and their dog are doing the nu-hiphop vibe lately. With big wigs like Remy doing solid things and Milwaukee Banks  and Baro perhaps being at the top of it, it’s the thing to do. And just like the ‘Australian sound’ EDM thing that happened a while ago, it’s becoming harder for the top kids to raise their heads up above the rest.

Flip The Script feel as though they’re doing things a bit differently. Young dudes, both sing and rap. Both have a pretty cool unique tone in their voice and their flow is undeniable. And to top it off, production is all 90s jazzy vibe. And it kills.

Latest single ‘Acting Profound’ below, and if you dig, download their tape crewsin’ over here.

Sick clip too!

Miks


[PREMIERE] GRANDSTANDS.

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Melbourne band Grandstands are back with their new single ‘Getting Out’. It’s a song ostensibly about breaking up and the realisation that getting out, is in many cases, the best thing. It’s also perhaps moreso detailing this strange fixation we now have on the mundane.

It’s a phenomena that has influenced nearly everything. Things like ‘normcore’; this fascination, at least within some fields of academia at investigating the everyday; and of course the whole idea of suburban guitar pop music. We’ve now reached a point where the only way to look is back in on ourselves, too aghast at the ridiculousness modern life has become. Grandstands manage to capture this feeling incredibly well.

This evening we’re lucky enough to feature the clip for ‘Getting Out’. Shot at Melbourne Zoo, it gets that whole everydayness to a tee. There’s a strange calm to the close up shots of zoo animals doing what zoo animals do.

Alongside the clip is a really wonderful three track single with ‘Getting Out’ as the lead. You can have a listen to that one below too. The guys also have a debut album in the works, due for release in early 2015. Featuring ‘Getting Out’, it’s been mixed and produced by Josh Bach who worked on Milk Teddy‘s wonderful debut and has been mastered by our mate Casey Rice.

If you dig ‘Getting Out’ and you’re down in Melbourne then we’re also pretty chuffed to announce that the band are playing a launch at the Workers Club on November 21. Details for that one here.

Miks


TETRAHEDRA.

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In the September tape, we opened with a track from new Melbourne 6-piece Tetrahedra. ‘Dried Up’ was a build of beautiful soft vocal layerings complicated by this stark tension that arises during that chorus. It was a great example of a band approaching pop music from an outside perspective.

The band have just launched a ‘live’ vid for another track of theirs ‘Circle My Heart’. Less electronic in it’s approach, ‘Circle My Heart’ showcases the bands more traditional training (they all met at the VCA down in Melbourne) – there is a strict funk and at times fusion feel to this track. It also messes with your sense of time and truly illustrates just how much a sense of context can develop in music. The opening piano riff gives you one interpretation, which after a while you feel comfortable sitting with. But then when that drum groove kicks in, you’re given a whole new way of understanding the track. And then, of course, that sax. I mean, move over Snowy.

It may be easy for some to give Tetrahedra a quick listen, and hear all that strangeness in the time signatures and the hard to place groove and write it off as something not accessible. I’d suggest however, that what makes Tetrahedra is the accessibility of their music. Underpinning the work of Tetrahedra is an undeniable pop aesthetic, and it works as a point of entry to their music.

 

If you dig the track, then make sure you jump over to the band’s bandcamp page and grab yaself a copy. Also make sure you give the guys a follow over on bandcamp as well as a like on the ol’ faceys.

Miks


THE OCEAN PARTY.

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I reckon in a couple of weeks you’ll be hearing ‘Australia’s answer to Real Estate‘. And although some of those comparisons can be pretty lazy, I feel as though this one is accurate, in a way. The Ocean Party aren’t an answer to anything in particular, especially not another band from a bigger country who music writers in Australia always seem to believe we play second fiddle to.

The band’s new album however does feel like a progression in sound. It sounds fucking confident, but not in a cocky way. Confident in the same way that Real Estate sound confident. It’s dreamy, but still really quite messy in parts too. Their last album was a big old fave of mine. I reckon Soft Focus will be too. It’s such a step up from anything else I’ve heard from them.

The new single from the album, due out October 31 through Spunk is ‘Head Down’. It’s dreamy and warm sounding and Lachlan’s vocals are complimented beautifully by Snowy’s guitar line and that lush rhythm section. And it’s a bloody great example of a band with a more pronounced and slightly elevated sound. And the clip? I mean, what’s better that watching five handsome fellas play the track with some marvellous shirts? It’s Snowy, standing solo playing on a Melbourne rooftop ripping that sax. What more could you want?

If you don’t end up loving this album, then mate, think there’s something wrong.

[EDIT 9/10/14] Well, actually, this has been edited a little bit already coz the writing wasn’t too crash hot, but anyway. Spunk have since put the track up on soundcloud as a free download. Stream/download below.

Miks.


SLEEPY DREAMERS.

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There are certain narratives that seem to constantly infiltrate the ways in which we talk about music in this country. In terms of fame, there’s this rags to riches story (think Courtney Barnett etc), there’s the whole argument around scenes and particular sounds being more popular than others because of the institution that is triple j, and then there’s the fact that every single time we hear an Australian accent, we need to pick it out and at the very least make a comment about how proud/weird/cringey it makes us feel. Of course these ways of thinking about Australian music are problematic because they automatically shape our expectations. But, given they’re so consistent, there must be some truth to them in giving us an inroad to understand music in this country.

So, with all that said, I don’t think you can really stray away from at least briefly mentioning Ed Tripodi’s vocal style on the new Sleepy Dreamers track ‘Hunk’. There is that slight drawl, that almost lazy sounding vocal, with that ocker accent.

For me, it works. It makes the track take a step above. The track itself is masterfully structured, and some of that early slow and dawdling instrumentation reminds me a lot of Sleep Decade. But with that vocal touch, it cuts through in a way.

Perhaps though we need to change how we consider the Australian accent in music. To use some rather obvious examples, Julia Stone uses her voice and phrases lines in very particular ways. Brendan from Eddy Current has an almost nasty sounding tone in his passive aggressive vocal delivery.

No singer with an Australian accent sings in exactly the same way. Why then can’t we move away from this concern with the accent itself and instead focus on the tone, the phrasing, and the delivery? Why can’t we focus on the slight aggression in Ed’s voice at times, and the fact that at 3:27 Ed’s thin sounding voice still manages to be enough to perfectly complement the solo guitar strums? Sure, sounding Australian acts as an instant identifier, but I reckon we’re capable of changing the narrative on that one.

Hunk is taken from Sleepy Dreamers second EP Local Football. I’m looking forward to this one. Also, if you’re in Melbourne, then can I recommend you go and check out the band as they do a Monday night residency at The Evelyn throughout October? Details here.

Miks.


SNOWY NASDAQ + EMMA RUSSACK.

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I got a friend. He came to Australia a couple of years ago. We saw Emma Russack a couple of months ago, and one of the first things he said was ‘man, she is gorgeous. She is my kind of Australian woman.’

So, Emma, meet Phil*.

Nah mate. This ain’t no matchmaker post. Especially when Emma’s collabed with our mate Snowy Nasdaq on a track called ‘First STI’. The track is the September track for Snowy’s excellent one song a month thing he’s doing for Why Don’t You Believe Me.

Snowy’s production on this feels consciously different – and maybe it’s because his vocals don’t feature on the track. The vocals belong all to Emma, and although it gets a little nuts and frantic like a lot of Snowy’s production, it feels more sparse, maybe to give room for Emma’s wonderfully rich and evocative vocal tone.

If Snowy can get this kind of stuff up every month, then damn son, we got a prolific (and fucking great) one on our hands.

*Not his real name (so far off it’s not funny)

Miks


FOOD COURT.

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FOOD COURT are four Sydney fellas doing some rather scuzzy solid pop song stuff. These guys have been kicking around for a little while and are definitely part of a rather established skuzz kinda scene up here in Sydney.

Their new single ’14 Years Young’ is the first taste of the bands 2nd EP Big Weak due out early November. It’s just over 2 minutes of that fuzzed out rollicking guitar that covers your 60s guitar pop to some psych. It’s also real bloody pop sounding too – these guys nail a pop structure, but inject enough interest (that middle 8 bit) into it all to make it stand up on it’s own.

If ya dig, then the guys are launching the new EP with an afternoon show on Saturday 20th September at the Glengarry Castle Hotel in Redfern.

Miks.